By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Police Minister Bryan Kramer has assured residents living at the Red Sea Barracks that funding will be allocated to improve the barracks facilities.
This morning families of police officers living at Bomana Red Sea Barracks met with the Police Minister, to air out their grievances on the state of the sewage problem that is affecting their homes and health.
They have been living with the smell of raw sewage for at least a week now.
Earlier this week, wives of police officers at the Barracks closed off the gates into the residential area in protest over the lack of attention by authorities.
The Red Sea Barracks located just opposite the Bomana Police College, was occupied in 2017, after the single barracks at Gordon’s was condemned by health officials.
About 200 families took up residency with some officers sharing homes. But there were many outstanding issues when these houses were occupied.
Electricity is yet to be connected and the water supply was only connected when the families of the policemen moved in.
Maria Mark, a wife of one police officer, says the blocked sewerage is causing more problems for the families.
“Since the blockage started last week, we find it hard to cook and eat. Even trying to close the window, the odour is worse. When we open our windows, the odour also comes in from the outside. We don’t know how we are going to live in these conditions,” said Maria Mark.
In some homes, the unbearable stench of human feces from blocked toilets, has made it difficult for families to cook or eat their meals.
Hilda Kalimda, another wife of a police officer, says the stench has turned the colour of the walls inside their homes to black.
“We sleep outside of our house. Sometimes I leave my children at my relative’s home, while my husband and I sleep here. My husband doesn’t have his bath here, he usually bathes at the station. This has been ongoing for almost two weeks now.”
Police Minister Bryan Kramer said about K20 million will be budgeted throughout the year to address the sewage, water and electricity issues at the Barracks. So far K5 million has been approved.
“I am not here to lie about funding issues, it’s my job to see that the second payment is made by August, while the K5 mission has already been transferred. Yesterday I’ve met with the contractor, and the commissioner and asked when the funds will be available because I want to know when work will start” said the Police Minister.